Indiana Lyons Notch Road Win in Chicago

PALOS HILLS, ILLINOIS – The Indiana Lyons hit the road for their second game of the 2022-23 American Basketball Association (ABA) season on Nov. 13 and returned home from Chicago with a 97-80 victory against the expansion Southland Saints under their belts.

For the second week in a row, the Lyons (1-1) faced an expansion team and for the second week in a row, they struggled. Shots would not fall, and the stifling Saints defense soaked up the rebounds and turnovers throughout the first three quarters of the contest.

Trailing 18-14 after the first quarter, the Lyons found a little bit of rhythm in the final two minutes of the half to take a 37-36 lead into the locker room.

The Saints (0-2) were coming off a close five-point loss last week to the No. 15 team in the ABA, and they looked hungry to earn their first victory in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Lyons were listless coming out of halftime, allowing the Saints to hold a 57-52 lead after three periods.

With only 52 points in three frames, the Lyons were on pace to set a franchise record for fewest points scored in a game.

And then the fourth quarter began.

As sluggish and discombobulated as the Lyons were through three quarters, they were equally as cohesive and well-oiled in the final twelve minutes.

Gerald Campbell drove the ball to the hoop for two points on the Lyons’ opening possession, which the Lyons followed up with three emphatic slam dunks on subsequent possessions – one by 6’8” Dillon Ware and two by 7’0” Alex Brown.

The quick strike and sudden swing in momentum gave the Lyons a lead that they would never relinquish, putting the Saints on their heels and leading them to force three-point shots that would not fall.

The Lyons started aggressively hunting down rebounds and forcing turnovers, and in the blink of an eye, they were on a 16-0 run before the Saints could register a basket. Scootee Walker, Kendric Lee, and Mike Pugh all forced multiple turnovers to frustrate the home team.

Later in the quarter, the Saints started shaking off the early haymaker, putting together a couple of scoring drives. Adonis Cubas-Hughes drove to the basket to attempt a layup, but Brown aggressively blocked the shot straight into the floor. On the next possession, Pugh launched a three-pointer while being fouled, sunk the trey and buried the ensuing free throw.

That sequence proved to be the knockout blow, as the Saints could never get back up off the mat.

The Lyons return to their home court in Bosstick Gym at 49 N. Wayne Street in Danville on Nov. 19 against the No. 14-ranked Clarksville Phoenix and Nov. 20 against the No. 13-ranked Burning River Buckets. Tipoff for the Clarksville game is at 5 p.m. while the Buckets game begins at 4 p.m.

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